Longstanding tongue-in-cheek rivalry between chains continues in Tokyo’s otaku mecca.

Two years ago, McDonald’s shut the doors on its Akihabara Showa-Dori branch, bringing an end to a 22-year stint at this location in Tokyo’s most famous otaku neighbourhood, and eliciting a sweet farewell message from the Burger King branch two buildings down.

At least everyone thought it was sweet, until they looked closer at the poster Burger King had hung outside their store (pictured above), and discovered it contained a hidden message in the first column that read:

▼ “私たちの勝チ” (“watashitachi no kachi”), which means: “Victory is ours.”

It was a friendly jab at Burger King’s competitor, whom the chain referred to as their “esteemed rival, and fellow friend who loved Akihabarain the body of the message. However, whatever victory Burger King had claimed over McDonald’s upon its departure from the street was short-lived, as the golden arches made its triumphant return to Akihabara today.

▼ And that return really was triumphant, as the new McDonald’s was now bigger and brighter than it had ever been.

Image: Twitter/@miyamotosatoru

As it turns out, the building that McDonald’s was previously housed in ended up being demolished, making way for a shiny new building called “Chiyoda Terrace”. It appears that McDonald’s liked their old location so much they moved right on in to the new building, taking up the entire second to fourth floors as a way of seemingly rubbing their own victory back in the face of Burger King.

▼ Burger King looks small in comparison next door to the construction site for Chiyoda Terrace.

As people waited for the new McDonald’s to open its doors to the public on 1 April, they also had one eye on Burger King to see how it would react to the opening.

▼ Tape across the stairs to the new McDonald’s reads: “1 April 7:00 a.m. Grand Open”

Image: Twitter/@kaztsu

Proving it wasn’t all water under the bridge, this message appeared on the official Burger King Japan Twitter account a day before the McDonald’s re-opening.

▼ The message reads: “Watashitachi no kachi

If that sentence sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a callback to their previous message to McDonald’s two years ago: “私たちの勝チ” (“watashitachi no kachi”), or “Victory is ours”. However, this time, the “kachi” has a different meaning, because although it’s pronounced the same way, it uses the kanji “価値“, which means “value” or “merit“.

The short tweet immediately caused a commotion online and it didn’t take people long to find out the reason for the tweet — Burger King had hung a new poster outside its Showa-Dori store.

▼ The poster begins with the title: “私たちの価値” (“Watashitachi no kachi”), or “Our value

Image: Twitter/@kaztsu

The message reads:

“Our Value

Artificial additives such as artificial colours, chemical seasonings, synthetic fragrances, and synthetic preservatives. As much as possible we don’t use these in our store. From our Whoppers, we begin to offer the value of real food. 

Two years ago, the pandemic suddenly arrived.

In the midst of changes to our everyday lives, we too felt keenly aware of the importance of taking care of our bodies and being grateful for good health.

So it’s all about safety. Simple ingredients made simply, with care. Just aiming for both deliciousness and peace of mind, all accumulated through trial and error. Serious taste that has been carefully nurtured. Confidence in the deliciousness of unadorned ingredients.

Burger King will forever continue to deliver burgers that refuse to compromise.”

The earnest message made no mention of McDonald’s…or did it? A closer look at the text reveals that each line ends with an unnatural break in the sentence, causing your eye to focus on the last character of every line, which, when read vertically from top to bottom, creates this:


▼ You can see the cryptic message when you read the last character on the right-hand side of every line from top to bottom.

Image: Twitter/@kaztsu

In Japanese, the hidden message reads: “Mise no dekasa yori daiji na koto“. What does this translate to in English?

“What’s more important than the size of the store.”

Oooooh did you feel that? It suddenly got hot in here because McDonald’s just got burrnned!

The message about avoiding artificial additives in burgers and concentrating on healthy ingredients and the value of real food was all a dig at the big new McDonald’s next door. According to Burger King, these values are more important than the size of the store, and many online agreed, saying:

“I support you, Burger King!”
“I prefer Burger King!”
“Burger King responds as expected!”
“I respect this fighting spirit!”

Burger King’s determination to continue doing its own thing in the shadow of a much larger rival has always made it a beloved underdog in the fast food scene, and this bold jab at McDonald’s has earned the underdog even more praise from people around the country.

Now the nation waits with bated breath to see whether McDonald’s will respond with a message of its own. If not, that’ll mean it’s truly moved on to bigger, brighter things and forgotten their past relationship like a miffed ex-lover. Or maybe it’s just waiting for Burger King to take down its poster and replace it with a kinder one, like they did during their last dalliance in 2020.

Source: Kaztsu via Net Lab
Top image ©SoraNews24

Insert images: Twitter/@miyamotosatoruTwitter/@kaztsu
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